This message was sent to Graduate School of Arts and Sciences students from Dean Burgmayer on March 12, 2020.
Dear GSAS students,
I am writing to you today to provide some additional information specific to GSAS students in light of the changes in the second half of the semester as communicated yesterday by President Cassidy.
Fellowships and TA stipends will be paid on the regular schedule with no changes. TAs, please be in contact with your supervisors regarding what role you will play in the remote teaching format.
Courses will continue in a remote format for the next 3 weeks as described in the email from President Cassidy of Wednesday Mar. 11.
Your instructor will be in contact with information as to how these will proceed.
Lab Research may continue as normal, but please practice social distancing. Please consult with your research advisor to see if they recommend any changes in lab procedures.
Library Research will be discontinued at some point and libraries will be closed to students. Note that, for a period of time (yet to be determined), grad students will have access to libraries for the purpose to retrieving any books and materials from their carrels and to sign out any additional books they will need for the next 3 week period through April 3. Watch your email for details on this issue.
Meetings with faculty and/or advisors may continue as normal. Please practice social distancing in such meetings.
Defenses and oral exams will be handled on a per case basis as needed.
Health care concerns: All graduate students have access to the Health and Wellness Center. All visits to see a nurse and physician are free for students on the BMC health insurance plan. For students not on the BMC health insurance, the fees are posted here:
**Please call health and wellness center before any visit, especially if you suspect a COVID-19 infection**.
Coverage under the BMC plan is discussed at this link: https://www.uhcsr.com/news-main. See special section related to COVID-19 at left.
Students may also contact the BMC health insurance broker representative Tim Cummons by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, Cassie Gates and Mary Sexton are happy to assist anyone with navigation of the health insurance website.
Events and Activities: The Career Symposium on Mar. 28 and all Graduate Student Appreciation Week (GSAW) events are cancelled. The Agnes Michaels lecture is cancelled.
We all aware of the increased anxiety and stress that is affecting all aspects of daily life in the time of COVID-19. I have been working with the senior administration to determine policies and practices going forward, and I assure you that consideration of graduate students is included in every discussion. As President Cassidy wrote in her email, "We are trying to anticipate all potential issues, but given the impossibility of that task, we ask for your patience." I, too, ask you to be patient with others as well as yourself in this time of disconcerting uncertainty.
Please do not hesitate to contact me, including Maria Dantis in your email, if you have additional concerns or suggestions to help us make the remainder of this semester productive and safe.
With sincere regards,
Sharon J. Nieter Burgmayer
W. Alton Jones Professor of Chemistry and Dean of Graduate Studies